Table Of Contents
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- Education and the Collective Construction of Knowledge. An Overview (Santiago Mengual Andrés; Mayra Urrea Solano)
- Teaching Modality: A Corpus Analysis of the Use of must by University Spanish Learners of English (Hanane Benali Taouis; Sidoní López Pérez)
- Motivation and Anxiety Towards Mathematical Learning in Primary Education (Rocío Collado-Soler, Ana Manzano-León, José M. Rodríguez-Ferrer)
- Criteria for the Sequencing of Contemporary Music in Education (José María Esteve-Faubel, Rosa Pilar Esteve-Faubel, Benjamín Francés Luna)
- Sustainability Training Evaluation of Spanish University Students (Jorge Fernandez-Herrero, Rosabel Martinez-Roig, Diego Gavilán-Martín)
- Art as a Means of Fostering Peace, Communication and Freedom of Expression from Childhood (Aitana Fernández-Sogorb, Verónica Chust Pérez)
- Culturemes vs. Humoremes as Translation Problems in Practice Exemplified in the German Cabaret of Marc-Uwe Kling and his Kangaroo Stories (Hang Ferrer-Mora)
- Is there Homogeneity Among Business Students Regarding the Level of Concern Towards the Sustainable Development Goals? A Cluster Analysis (Nieves García-de-Frutos, Justo Alberto Ramírez-Franco, Raquel Antolín-López)
- Use Trends and Methodological Pertinence of Delphi within Educational Research in Ibero-America: A Systematic Review in Scopus (Alexander López-Padrón, Rosabel Roig-Vila)
- Gamification in the Improvement of Speaking Competences in the English as a Foreign Language Classroom: A Case Study (Rosabel Martinez-Roig, Copelia Mateo-Guillén, Pedro Antonio García-Tudela)
- Quality Management in the Spanish University: An Analysis of the Success and Performance Rates in Communication Degree Programs (Lorena, R. Romero-Domínguez, Mar Ramírez-Alvarado)
- Teacher Stories from the Future: Technology for the Language and Literature Classroom (José Rovira-Collado, Francisco Antonio Martínez-Carratalá, Sebastián Miras, María A. Ribes-Lafoz)
Santiago Mengual Andrés1; Mayra Urrea Solano2
1Department of Comparative Education and History of Education, University of Valencia (Spain)
2Department of General Didactic and Specific Didactics, University of Alicante (Spain)
Our changing society, a product ofglobalization and the ever increasing digitization, has turn the present into a complex and uncertain stage. Needless to say, this fragmented and unstable world has brought about new forms of organization, relationships, and above all learning, for the latter is especially a social phenomenon. In fact, one of the main characteristics of the twenty-first century is the human construction of knowledge through dialogue, collective intelligence and joined action through collaborative networks. An example of this are the chapters an exciting itinerary of the main foci of interest and Debate in the educational field.
The volumen begins with Hanane Benali Taouis & Sidoní López Pérez’s chapter entitled ‘Teaching Modality: a corpus analysis of the use of must by university Spanish learners of English’, whose focus is the improvement of English learners through the identification of the common mistakes they make when using the verb must. The acquisition of mathematical skills is the focus of the chapter entitled ‘Motivation and anxiety towards mathematical learning in primary education’ by Rocío Collado-Soler, Ana Manzano-León & José M. Rodríguez-Ferrer, which studies the connection among students’ emotions, anxiety, and motivation when learning mathematics. José María Esteve-Faubel, Rosa Pilar Esteve-Faubel & Benjamín Francés Luna inquire into the learning of atonal music in their ‘Criteria for the sequencing of contemporary music in education’. In the fourth chapter, ‘Sustainability training evaluation of Spanish university students’, Jorge Fernández-Herrero, Rosabel Martinez-Roig & Diego Gavilán-Martín present the results of their study on the sustainability skills of university students. Aitana Fernández-Sogorb & Verónica Chust Pérez also focus on the formation of future educators in their chapter entitled ‘Art as a means of fostering peace, communication and freedom of expression from childhood’, an interesting study that demonstrates instructors’ positive view towards art.←7 | 8→
Hang Ferrer-Mora reflects in ‘Culturemes vs. humoremes as translation problems in practice exemplified in the German Cabaret of Marc-Uwe Kling and his Kangaroo stories’ about the manner in which culture, and humor in particular, influence translation. Nieves García-de-Frutos, Justo Alberto Ramírez-Franco & Raquel Antolín-López, in the chapter entitled ‘Is there homogeneity among business students regarding the level of concern towards the Sustainable Development Goals? A cluster analysis’, show the need to promote the development and awareness of university students about sustainability. ‘Use Trends and methodological pertinence of Delphi within educational research in Ibero-America: a systematic review in Scopus’ by Alexander López-Padrón & Rosabel Roig-Vila offers a systematic overview of the use patterns of the Delphi system. The chapter entitled ‘Gamification in the improvement of speaking competences in the English as a foreign language classroom: a case study’, by Martinez-Roig, Copelia Mateo-Guillén & Pedro Antonio García-Tudela discusses the value of gamification in learning English for primary education students. María del Mar Ramírez-Alvarado & Lorena R. Romero-Domínguez’s chapter entitled ‘Quality management in the Spanish university: an analysis of the success and performance rates in communication degree programs’ shows the benefits of systems of quality control and monitoring of university degrees. Finally, José Rovira-Collado, Francisco Antonio Martínez-Carratalá, Sebastián Miras & María A. Ribes-Lafoz in their ‘Teacher stories from the future: technology for the language and literature classroom’ present some of the results of their project ‘La educación en 2030’ (Education in 2030) and how education students imagine the technological transformation of their field in the future.
Hanane Benali Taouis1; Sidoní López Pérez2
1Department of Applied Linguistics, Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain)
2Department of English Didactics of the English Language, International University of La Rioja (Spain)
Abstract: Corpus-based studies have brought interesting empirical results to the field of foreign language teaching at its different levels, including higher education. The main objective of these studies is to improve the teaching methodology by identifying students’ errors and presenting methods that can adapt to their needs. This research flows in the same stream through detecting the errors that our Spanish learners make in their use of the modal verb must. It studies a corpus that includes 246 writing samples, 4.816-word types and 107.042-word tokens produced by 155 students in an online forum of a subject within the framework of the Degree in Early Childhood Education. The free concordance software program AntConc was used to detect errors in the use of the modal verb must by our students. This monolingual corpus is compiled from the participation of students in the compulsory subjects that use English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI). The results of this study show four types of errors: the use of infinitive with to after must, putting two modal verbs consecutively, the incorrect use of must in interrogative forms and the incorrect use of must in passive voice. The analysis of these errors in context draws from error analysis in second language (Ellis 1990) to distinguish between native language interference, overgeneralization and target language rule ignorance.
Keywords: adult students, learning method, linguistics, second language, teaching method.
In the literature we can still observe a clear agreement on the concept Downing and Locke (2006) introduce about the strong relation between modality and the semantic notions of ‘possibility, probability, necessity, volition, obligation and permission’ (308). This shows the subjectivity of modality in English and explains the difficulties that non-native speakers might encounter to encode these structures; especially if the mother tongue does not include a wide range of modal verbs and uses other structures like subjunctive mood as the ←9 | 10→most frequent form to express modality (Palmer 2001; Hoye 1997; Kerl 1861). In addition, some English modal verbs like must are characterized by having two different deontic meanings; one being necessary for and the other expressing obligation (Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, & Svartvik 1985). Due to these particular qualities that Palmer (1979) summarizes in ‘there is, perhaps, no area of English grammar that is both more important and more difficult that the system of the modals’ (10), and to the difficulties that modal verbs entail for Spanish learners of English, we considered studying the use of the modal verb must to detect the reasons of this phenomenon and to improve its teaching.
Modal verbs generally express a variety of semantic meanings the same as permission, possibility, intention etc., (Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries 2022). To recognize the complexity of these language elements, we should be aware of the possible variations encompassed in each modal verb and the relation that these meanings have with the attitude of the producer (Palmer 1979). In other words, modality depends not only on grammatical features but also on lexical and prosodic ones.
Basically, modal verbs are divided into three different categories including epistemic, dynamic and deontic modals. According to Palmer (1990), epistemic modality includes the speaker’s judgement about a proposition based on both evidence and knowledge. Deontic modality involves expressing obligation, permission, or forbiddance, whereas dynamic modality is concerned with the abilities and properties of the subject of the sentence. It is particularly important to mention that the modal verb we are analysing in the current investigation has been defined by many researchers (Palmer 1990; Portner 2009; Sweetser 1990) as carrying the three categories of modality. Thus, we can deduce its possible ambiguity for non-native speakers of English and expect it to be one of the most complicated modals in English.
In line with the previous investigations conducted on modal verbs, the current study provides an analysis of the use of the modal verb must by Spanish intermediate learners of English. The field of modal verbs has been generally investigated in contrastive studies between English and many other languages (Bonilla 2017; Orta 2010; Qian 2017), but it does not count on an overflowing research when it comes to Spanish learners of English. Having this limited number of studies based on learners’ corpus to compare to the use of modal verbs by English non-native speakers, makes it an interesting field of study to scrutinize the Spanish learners’ difficulties and provide a better understanding of this language element. The main aim is to explain students’ errors using authentic production of Spanish students and suggest methodologies to help the ←10 | 11→students either avoid or overcome these errors. Hitherto, our research covers both contrastive and errors analysis.
Nevertheless, studies on the use of modal verbs by Spanish learners of English are very few and most of them are dissertations or theses. They all agreed on the difficulties faced by non-native students in using modal verbs. This makes our research relevant to the field of language teaching, but it also limits the scope of our theoretical background. In addition, and taking into consideration that most research on the use of modal verbs focuses on the writing of specific and standardized assignments by non-native students of English, another outstanding aspect of this research is the use of spontaneous learners’ written production extracted from activities in a non-linguistic subject (López Pérez & Benali Taouis 2019; López Pérez 2021).
2. Research method
2.1. Research objectives
This research that is a corpus analysis study that draws on a corpus-driven approach (Biber 2010) and concept-oriented approach (COA) to analyse the subject’s errors with the aim of providing insight into understanding the learning process (Bardovi-Harlig 1995, 2000; Dietrich, Klein, & Noyau 1995) and explaining the reasons behind the difficulties that our intermediate Spanish learners of English face with modal verbs. The choice of modal verbs is not arbitrary, but based on a deep analysis of the types of errors and on the results of previous studies in which modal verbs were included in the first ten most frequent errors of Spanish learners of English (MacDonald 2016). The main purpose of this research is to bring to light the errors that students make while using the modal verb must. A total of 166 hits were assigned with the token must and eight errors were analysed. Although the number of these errors is not very high, it demands our attention because it shows that students continue to make a wrong use of the structure that is required with modal verbs. These errors showed four categories of grammar errors. The analysis goes a step further to compare the structures of these errors with the students’ native language (NL) to the English grammatical rules to find the possible reasons. Basically, this corpus analysis study aims at detecting university Spanish Learners of English errors’ in the use of the modal verb must and provide pedagogical implications to improve the teaching of this linguistic aspect.←11 | 12→
Our monolingual corpus, ENTECOR, (see Table 1 below) includes 786 participants, 527.099 tokens and 13.148 types. This comparable corpus encompasses two sub-corpora (TICOR & SECOR). The latter comprises 120 subjects’ written production in a forum from a subject within the framework of the Master’s Degree in Secondary Education taught totally online at Universidad Internacional de La Rioja (UNIR). The TICOR sub-corpus embraces 246 writing samples, 4.816-word types and 107.042-word tokens written by 155 students. Again, this sub-corpus comprehends two components (ICT composed of spontaneous written texts of 155 students in an online forum of a subject within the framework of the Degree in Early Childhood Education, and TIC, including written samples of 511 participants in a similar online forum as part of another subject within the Degree in Primary School Education). The origin of the used corpus is the participation of the students in a graded online written activity monitored by the teachers of the two English subjects mentioned above.
Table 1. Components of corpus ENTECOR
The actual study uses the second sub-corpus of TICOR (ICT). Similar to all our previously stated corpora, this one is composed of multiple contributions of the subjects in a forum of a compulsory non-linguistic subject (ICT Tools Applied to the Learning of English), in which English is the medium of instruction and assessment. The instructors’ role in the forums is limited to monitoring and observation without any type of intervention. The students were given a topic for discussion based on the content of the subject and they were required to use English as their only medium of communication.
- ISBN (PDF)
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- ISBN (Hardcover)
- Publication date
- 2022 (December)
- Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2022. 188 pp., 5 fig. col., 2 fig. b/w, 27 tables.